Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: Sue Wootton’s ‘The bare patch’

The bare patch

I walk past it daily on my way
to work, and mostly I forget my promise

to remember. The inward eye is lazy,
defers at once to eyeball, retina 

and light. The fact of tree can’t be defied:
it is; it fills the field. It towers above

our offices. Yet even this, at times
I do not see. It’s after rain, the tang

of eucalyptus in the air, and gumnuts
strewn across the footpath, it’s then (sometimes)

I blink and search the ground, recall
the lattice bones that swiftly, unexpected, 

rose, as swiftly withered, sank. Ever-present, busy, 
usually unseen: tutae kehua, ghost 

that comes up after thunder. All year
I’ve tried and mostly failed to hold in mind 

the basket fungus. There is a moving mesh 
beneath my feet. There is that fact.

Sue Wootton

Sue Wootton is a poet and novelist who lives in Ōtepoti Dunedin. Her most recent poetry collection is The Yield (OUP), which was a finalist in the 2018 Ockham NZ Book Awards.

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